US Nonfarm payrolls beat expectations

Labour activity picks up again as US job growth and wage gains surpass expectations. Unfortunately, this dashes all hope for an early interest rate cutting cycle as inflation is likely to remain sticky, and for longer. Nonfarm payrolls rose to 216,000 in December vs an expected 175,000, whilst hourly earnings increased by 0.4% from a month earlier. The unemployment rate held tight at 3.7%. The labour market remains to be key input into the inflationary outlook, and whilst this is a headwind, it also reflects the resilience of the US labour market driven by economic growth and consumer spending. This helps feed into the soft-landing narrative, largely anticipated by markets. Investors can only now hope for a disconnect between labour market activity and inflation, in order to pave the way for Fed to cut rates whilst remaining confident that inflation will continue to moderate.